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220                              THE GAY GENIUS

On his visit to his brother, the poet was met by his three nephews, who
had come some eight miles to receive him. The brothers had not seen
each other for four years, and Tseyu had put on a little more flesh. He
did not look in the best of health, for he was too busy to practice yoga
at night. The office of the wine and salt monopoly was housed in a
little shabby, rickety, leaky building overlooking a river. According to
Tseyu's own story: "There used to be three persons in this bureau. Bur
when I arrived two of them had been sent elsewhere, and I had to
attend to everything myself. Every day I had to sit at the shop, selling
wine and salt, and supervising the weighing of pigs and fish for tax
assessment. In order to carry out my duty I had to wrangle with the
farmers and merchants about weights and measures. At night when I
came back, I was so tired that I stretched myself in bed and fell asleep
and did not wake up till the morning. The next day I had to do the%
same things again."

Su Tungpo stayed there six or seven days and then sailed down tb
river to Kiukiang in order to join his own family. With them he went
down the Yangtse to Nanking in July. There, Chaoyun's son, then only
ten months old, fell ill and died. It was a great blow to the parents, but
especially to the young mother. In one of the poems on the death of
the young child, Su said that the mother lay dazed all day in bed, and
although he could wipe away his own tears, it was hard to listen to her
weeping. Chaoyun never gave birth to another child.

While at Nanking, Su Tungpo went to visit Wang Anshih, who was
now a tired, broken old man. They spent days discussing poetry aod|
Buddhism; since both o them were major poets and believers if?
Buddhism, they had a lot to talk about. There was a story that once
Su Tungpo outmatched Wang in writing verse on a given rhyme
and subject, and Wang gave up half-way. In the course of their con-
versations, Su Tungpo frankly blamed Wang for launching wars and
persecuting scholars.

"I have something to say to you," said Su Tungpo.

Wang's countenance changed, and he said: "Are you going to talk
about the past?"

"What I want to talk about," said Su Tungpo, "is the afiairs of the
country."

Wang calmed down a little and said: "Go ahead."

Su proceeded. "Wars and party strife caused the fall of the Han and
Tang dynasties. The present imperial house intended to avoid these
dangers. But now the government has been engaged for years in wars
with the north-west, and many scholars have been sent to the south-
east. Why didn't you stop it?"

Wang raised two fingers and said to Tungpo: "These two things